I am linking up with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter First Paragraph or two of the book you are currently reading or plan to read soon.
I have really enjoyed the books that Jane Harper has written so far. Both were set in Australia and both featured Aaron Falk, an Australian with the Federal Police. The book I'm talking about today is a standalone, but I understand that a few characters might be familiar. Here's a bit about...
by Jane Harper
From above, from a distance, the marks in the dust formed a tight circle. The circle was far from perfect, with a distorted edge that grew thick, then thin, and broke completely in places. It also wasn't empty.
In the center was a headstone, blasted smooth by a hundred-year assault from sand, wind, and sun. The headstone stood a meter tall and was still perfectly straight. It faced west, toward the desert, which was unusual out there. West was rarely anyone's first choice.
The name of the man buried beneath had long since vanished, and the landmark was known to locals--all sixty-five of them, plus one hundred thousand head of cattle--simple as the stockman's grave. That piece of land had never been a cemetery; the stockman had been put into the ground where he had died, and in more than a century, no one had joined him.
If a visitor were to run their hands over the worn stone, a partial date could be detected in the indentations. A 'one' and an 'eight' and a 'nine', maybe--1890-something. Only three words were still visible. They had been carved lower down, where they had better shelter from the elements.
Or perhaps they had been chiseled more deeply to start with, the message deemed more important than the man. They read:
who went astray
Brothers Nathan and Bub Bright meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback.
Their third brother, Cameron, lies dead at their feet.
In an isolated belt of Australia, their homes a three-hour drive apart, the brothers were one another’s nearest neighbors. Cameron was the middle child, the one who ran the family homestead. But something made him head out alone under the unrelenting sun.
Nathan, Bub and Nathan’s son return to Cameron’s ranch and to those left behind by his passing: his wife, his daughters, and his mother, as well as their long-time employee and two recently hired seasonal workers.
While they grieve Cameron’s loss, suspicion starts to take hold, and Nathan is forced to examine secrets the family would rather leave in the past. Because if someone forced Cameron to his death, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects.
I'm beginning to hear some very positive things about this book, most notably this review by my friend Cathy at Kittling: Books. I have this one on audio and will listen to it at 'just the right time'.